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Will My Children Be Muslim? The Development of Religious Identity in Young People

15 January, 2020 16:42
Will My Children Be Muslim? The Development of Religious Identity in Young People

Religious identity development: A review of the research

One of the primary concerns of Muslim parents in the West is the religious identity of their children. Many parents wonder what the secret is to raising a child with imān (faith) in a society in which being Muslim can be challenging. Approximately 70% of people in the U.S. identify as Christian, nearly 23% identify as having no religion, and less than 1% identify as Muslim. Although Muslim families transmit their religious affiliation to their children at higher rates than Christians in America, approximately 20% of those raised as Muslims do not identify as Muslim in adulthood.

In this cultural context, where Christianity is the majority religion and the philosophies of secularism, liberalism, feminism, capitalism, and atheism are pervasive and influential, Muslims who desire to transmit Islam to their children need to understand how to socialize their children to develop a healthy Islamic identity.

Exactly what should parents do to inculcate Islamic beliefs, values, and behaviors in their children? What type of schools should they send their children to? What effects do friends have on their children’s religious identity? What types of parent-child relationships and parenting practices facilitate the development of faith? These are the types of questions that parents ask and need answers to, yet relatively little is known about the process of religious identity development in Muslim youth in America.

This paper provides an overview of theories about the mechanisms by which religion is conveyed and passed down to children in America. Although the overwhelming majority of research has been conducted with adherents of other faiths in the United States, the insights from existing research are invaluable in constructing theoretical models and a roadmap to better understand Islamic identity development of Muslim American youth.

Source: Yaqeen Institute

Category : Islamic World News  |  
Will My Children Be Muslim? The Development of Religious Identity in Young People
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